Will It Be Enough….
Happy New Year!! May 2022 be better than 2021 in all sense. May Omicron wane in strength and level of contagion.
Hmmm, when clients ask me to give them a quote, they are often surprised at the quantity of food I suggest.” Haaa, are you sure?…. I don’t think it will be enough ooo…..I don’t want food to finish at my party o…..etc, etc.”
“Na wa o…….. ” I muse. I mean, are we feeding all of New England?
I smile, I look at the client assuring them that they should expect to have extra food to take home. A major mantra for me is business integrity. I won’t tell you to buy 3 coolers of jollof rice when you are only looking to feed 100 people. Even if you desire for people to ‘chop and quench’, it does not have to burn a hole in your pocket.
3 things constitute the life of any party: food, booze and music. Nobody rembers what the celebrant wore or what the decor looks like until they have been satisfied by all 3. Your guests MUST be satisfied by ALL three.I do all I can, God helping me that I don’t mess up the first leg of the party success stool.
I have messed up before. I won’t lie. I remember my first big event was a wedding years over a decade ago. I wanted to impress the client so bad, I did not ask the right questions. Like most Naija parties, she told me the engagement ceremony will start at 4. I was at the location at 2.30. The ceremony started 2 hours later. Dinner began at 8pm. You guess right. The quality of the food had began to deteriorate. Some of the food had gone off. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me.
It was my first lesson in catering for Naija people……Ask for the real start of events. Maybe that is why most Naija caterers are late. They want the food to arrive piping hot. Our concept of starting on time can be funny. Then the horror stories begin.
The concept of food not being enough can only happen in three situations:
1. If you nickel and dime the caterer, the caterer may not say much, accept the contract but cook just enough so profit can be made.
2. When you put ‘hungry’ family members in charge of food service. I hate to tell you this but half of your food will be gone. I literally had to hide 2 trays of meat, and 1 tray of meatpies at a party because the celebrants sister kept going to different staff of mine, with the same lie about wanting to secure food for some fictitious guests. She was so bad she did not know how to lie. Then she had the nerve to come ask me the same question. “Oh….sorry ma, i think the meat has finished o…” Rolling my eyes as I walked away. I complained to the celebrant’s aunt who recommended me. When I mentioned who the person was, she smiled, she repeated her line. I was shook. “My dear that is how she is o….we know her”Lord take the wheel.
3. When your caterer is in bed with your committee of friends. If your caterer was recommended by friends who don’t cook but take pleasure in carrying to go packs at parties, best believe part of your food budget was used to cater for their food for the week. I shall say no more.
Will it be enough? I will tell if it won’t be. It should be enough if you tell me your guest count is your guest count.
Dear customer, don’t pay for 150 guests if you KNOW you are expecting 250 guests. That is wickedness.
Dear caterer, don’t quote for 7 coolers of rice when you KNOW you only need 1.5.
Dear diary, this year, we refuse to haggle. May the right people come.